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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Driscoll's Strawberry Coconut Cake

I love birthdays and I reallllly love cake.  Thatcher's birthday was Monday and I decided to take the opportunity to practice my baking skills.  While I can cook really well, baking is not my forte.  Too many ingredients, too much exact measuring.  

Well, for my first project back into baking... I picked a big one.  And let me say, it was a HIT! I posted this on instagram and received many people asking for the recipe.  The best part? it tastes better than it looks.   I present to you Driscoll's Strawberry Coconut Cake.  And yes, I made the icing, the cake, everything from scratch.  You can call me Betty.  Betty Crocker 

Driscoll's Strawberry Coconut Cake. 

Disclaimer:  There is nothing healthy about this cake.  Between the cake and the frosting there are over three sticks of butter and copious amounts of sugar.  But it is so delicious (NO REGRETS).  And it has fruit so it makes up for it, right?  Moving on.     Full recipe here 



  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut


  • 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), at room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Filling and Topping

  • 3/4 of a 16-ounce package Driscoll's Strawberries, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 of a 16-ounce package Driscoll's Strawberries, sliced lengthwise
  • 2/3 cup sweetened, shredded coconut, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease bottoms and sides of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans. Line bottoms of each pan with a round of parchment paper. Grease paper and dust each pan with flour, tapping out excess. Set aside.

  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Set aside. Combine milk and coconut milk. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, with mixer on low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture in several additions, starting and ending with flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in shredded coconut.

  3. Spread batter into cake pans and bake 40 minutes or until golden and cake tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert to cool completely.


  1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until blended. Add confectioners' sugar and mix on low until combined.

I loved that this recipe included the idea of using these cut parchment paper circles on the bottom of the pan.  The cakes came out no problem and it made the whole process much easier.  

Filling and Assembly

  1. Place one cake layer on a cake plate or stand. If cakes have rounded top, gently trim with serrated knife to make flat. Spread a thin layer of frosting on cake layer and top with chopped strawberries, pressing to flatten and help strawberries stay in place. Place other cake layer on strawberries, with flat side up and press down gently to secure. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Press toasted coconut evenly on sides of cake and top with concentric circles of sliced strawberries. If not serving cake immediately, refrigerate until ready.

To frost the cakes, I started with a light crumb coat, and stuck that in the fridge to harden while I cut the strawberries. 

Don’t worry, this recipe makes plenty of frosting.   I was really conservative on my frosting layer between the cakes because I did not want to run out.  You can slather it on that middle layer (not too much too ooze out ) But don’t worry, there is plenty of frosting in this recipe.  I also threw some strawberries in the food processor to create a slight jam layer with the frosting and strawberry layer in the middle. 

To decorate, start with the coconut.  Keep an eye on it while you are toasting it as it will burn quick.  After toasting it, stick it in the fridge to cool for a bit.  You do not want to put hot coconut flakes on delicate frosting! Leave the top bit uncoconuted (is that word?) you will add that on after you add on the strawberries. 

As for decorating with strawberries, 
start in the middle of the cake, with the point facing the middle, and keep working your way around. Nothing fancy here, just cut thin slices and arrange with all the point facing the middle.   

This cake wasn't really hard, but it wasn't exactly easy.  It was definitely time consuming as you needed to cut strawberries, make the cake, make the frosting, toast the coconut, and decorate the cake.  But it was so worth it.  It is a large cake, and the crunchy coconut, fresh strawberries, and layer in the middle...this cake is fantastic.

I loved that the decoration of this cake stayed natural, no fancy flowers, just beautiful colorful ingredients to decorate the cake.  And come on, this cake screams spring and nicer weather!


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